Another OUTSTANDING Family Weekend

khalif-laticia-2Laticia Khalif is a member of LSU’s Family Association Council and parent of a sophomore at LSU. She resides in Milton, GA and is a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket who has learned to Love Purple and Live Gold.

My family loves LSU Family Weekend for a host of reasons and after this past Family Weekend, we have decided that we will continue to attend as long as my daughter is a student at LSU. As an out of state parent, I don’t get the luxury of seeing my daughter every weekend. As a matter of fact, I don’t get the luxury of seeing her on a monthly basis. With the expense associated with flying back and forth to Baton Rouge or even the time needed to drive between Louisiana and Georgia, opportunities just don’t present themselves.


Therefore, every opportunity counts. And timing wise, I have found the timing of Family Weekend and the Spring Event are PERFECT! Unbeknownst to my daughter or myself, the events seemed to be planned right at that time when students, typically those who live out of state, begin to yearn for that “touch point” or connection to HOME!  Specifically, last year when my daughter was a freshman, I found after moving in mid-August, that by October (and in particular, leading up to Family Weekend) she was MORE THAN READY to see her family. Imagine the big smile on my face when she started the 10-day COUNTDOWN. So, given that she was an out of state student who had mentally prepared herself to not come home until Thanksgiving, I was so excited and filled with relief when we both realized that I had made the right decision in planning to attend Family Weekend. WHEW!!! And… when most kids are embarrassed by their over eager Aunties, God Mother and mom, she seemed to relish the moment and beamed with pride at our “silliness”.


That is why we came again this year. And that is why we are coming again next year. So, from the perspective of an out of state parent, Family Weekend matters! And as much as we enjoy the city, the food, experiencing The Chimes, Roux 61, and  TJ RIBS for the 99 cent Margaritas at least 2 times during the weekend, and not to mention just roaming around the campus, going to the volleyball games, and more importantly, getting a chance to experience LSU in Death Valley; Family Weekend, to us, is truly about spending time with my daughter, meeting her new family and friends, and reinforcing the love that we all have for her in her home away from home.


LSU Homecoming Court 2016

drakeDrake Boudreaux serves as a student assistant for Parent & Family Programs.  Drake is from Lafayette, LA and pursuing a degree in Mass Communication-Digital Advertising.

Serving as a senior class representative on LSU’s 2016 Homecoming Court is, without doubt, one of the highest honors I’ve ever received. Representing the university in such a unique way has allowed me to reflect on everything the university has done for me. In my past three years at LSU, I have found myself being molded in to a more rational, confident and enthusiastic leader and community member. LSU taught me to be open-minded, in all aspects of the phrase, and that open mindedness is the foundation upon which my LSU experience was built.

With a population exceeding 30,000 people on campus, LSU brings together students and faculty from every corner of the world. Stepping on campus for the first time, I was immediately exposed to viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures and beliefs that were completely foreign to me. It was in this unfamiliarity that I learned how important it is for students keep an open mind, because only then are we able to truly recognize that our differences are what make us both unique and beautiful. Whether I was encountering thousands of incoming students and their parents at orientation or studying abroad in Greece, LSU afforded countless opportunities to me to expand my perception of the world and discover new facets of myself in the process. As a result of these new opportunities and relationships, I was challenged to find the confidence to pursue excellence. The students at this university are confident in their decisions and hold themselves to a higher standard. Being surrounded by such an ambitious group of peers instilled in me a stronger sense of conviction that has allowed me to go beyond my comfort zone and fearlessly explore undiscovered capabilities.  Never in a million years did I think I would have the confidence to speak in front of hundreds on behalf of the university or even sing a solo on the Union Theatre stage, but LSU empowered me to do so.


Another thing I gained from my LSU experience is wholeheartedly displaying unwavering and relentless passion for the university. There is a raw spirit that emanates from the students, faculty and staff that is truly indescribable. I have had the opportunity to participate in numerous organizations that not only call for this passion in their members, but who also strive to fuel that passion around our campus community. Whether I was happily losing my voice cheering along participants at STRIPES or representing LSU’s unique spirit before other universities at regional conferences, I have appreciated the unique chances that I’ve had to display my passion for this place. I believe LSU instills the mentality that we are here to walk across a stage in four years and receive a highly respected degree, but we are going to passionately enjoy the unique time we have here. I have embraced that mentality. Needless to say, attending LSU has transformed me in to an individual that I am very proud to be and to represent a school that has done so much for me at such a special time has been a truly incredible experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.


Perhaps one of the most rewarding parts of the experience was that I got share the day with my family. While I have enjoyed being extremely involved at LSU, unfortunately it has prevented me from spending as much time as I would like in my hometown, Lafayette, with the family that has made it possible for me to be here. Regardless of how many birthday parties, crawfish boils, or weddings that I’ve missed over the years, my family’s relentless and unwavering support has absolutely been the reason I’ve been able to accomplish everything I have at LSU. So this past Saturday when I was able to treat them to such a special event for LSU, it made the past few years of stress and many sleepless nights all worth it. Their attendance gave me a chance to immerse them in the culture that I’ve fallen in love with over my time here, and for that I am

In addition to all that mushy gushy stuff, being on LSU’s Homecoming Court is just a really cool experience. The process began with an extensive application, being invited to attend an interview, participating in an interview and finally being selected to be a part of a group of 16 of LSU students from all over campus. Getting to know all the members of court and share in the unique experience with them was really so much fun. I was honored to spend my last homecoming alongside some of the universities best and brightest.

drake-2In addition, Campus Life does an amazing job filling homecoming week with a ton of exciting events that get students engaged in addition to giving back to the community. All these events culminated on Saturday, the day that hosted most of the events for court. We began with a parade that wrapped around the exterior of campus. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to ride in a corvette and throw beads at tiger fans screaming “Geaux Tigers!” as if their lives depended upon it? We then attended a luncheon with our families in the student union, with Miss LSU and the past LSU Homecoming King and Queen as guest speakers. One of my favorite parts of the day was marching down victory hill behind the Golden Band from Tigerland. Our day concluded in Tiger Stadium watching the tigers take on Missouri and walk down the 50 yard line at halftime to crown this year’s king and queen. Being on LSU’s Homecoming Court truly was an unforgettable experience and one that I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of.

Study Hard. Study Smart.

kolbyKolby Ledbetter served as the Orientation Leader for undeclared students for the past three years. He is a senior from Marshall, TX and is majoring in English with a concentration in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. He is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Student Government, the STRIPES program, and is a former Supplemental Instructor for the Center for Academic Success. His favorite spot on campus is the first floor of Middleton Library, across from CCs.”


Hey tigers and tiger families!
Everyone’s ~favorite~ week in October is right around the corner. Midterms.
This is my seventh round of midterms coming up, so here are a few pieces of advice from a graduating senior on how to destroy those midterms like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.

#1: Start studying NOW.
Can you tell me the basic concepts that you covered in your classes during the first and second weeks of school? How about how those concepts connect to what you’re learning this week?
Every day, after every class, just that 15 minutes to debrief the information you learned. Reviewing it while it’s fresh on your mind will help you compartmentalize it and organize it better.

#2: Do not pull an all-nighter in Middleton.
I know the CCs is open until midnight, and that is truly wonderful. They have muffins. Believe me. I understand.
But putting your mind and body through the stress of an all-nighter, drinking huge amounts of coffee, and staying in one spot for hours is not going to get you anywhere. Not only is it bad for your body, it’s bad for your working memory, an apparatus in your brain that moderates between what is going on around and what information has already been stored in your mind.
Coming from a former (okay, current) procrastinator, start early and get sleep. Sleep is so important and beds are so comfy. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep before those tests. Your body, your mind, your sanity will all thank you later.

#3: Study in chunks and give yourself breaks.
I’m not suggesting that you study for 15 minutes and reward yourself with an episode of Parks and Rec. But keep in mind that your brain might work better in sprint-and-rest mode. Not marathon mode. Give yourself chunks of times that are for a break and find something constructive to do – walk around for a minute or text a family member that you love them.

Lastly – take advantage of the resources around you. If you look at something now and don’t understand it, visit the Center for Academic Success in Coates or Middleton, email your professor or TA, visit office hours, and go to SI sessions. These programs are put on campus to help you succeed. You pay for them, so take advantage of that fact!

Most importantly, remember that your value and worth is not defined by a number or letter that you get in a class. If this midterms week doesn’t go well for you, remember that there is always time to bounce back. Making mistakes is okay. Our brains are wired to work that way!

Good luck tigers!

Finally A Tiger

alyssaHi parents and families!  My name is Alyssa Wehle and I am excited to work with LSU families and their students as the new graduate assistant for Parent & Family Programs.  I am a central Florida native and attended the University of West Florida in Pensacola for my undergraduate degree in Communications.  After graduating in 2015, I worked for my sorority as a Chapter Consultant.  Currently, I am a pursuing my master’s degree in Higher Education Administration.

Although I am a Florida native, I have always bled purple and gold.  I have strong family ties to LSU and I was raised a tiger from the very start.  Anyone who knows me knows that I wore purple and gold ribbons in my hair in grade school, dreamed of being on the Tiger Girls Dance Team, wore LSU apparel daily in high school, and always knew that I would (someday) end up at Louisiana State University.

Well, that ‘someday’ has arrived in 2016 and I am truly thrilled that life has led me to LSU!  Not only am I attending an amazing school that I’ve dreamed of forever, I am also working in an incredible department where I have the chance to interact daily with tigers and their families.  The transition to life in Baton Rouge and on campus has been seamless thanks to the kindness of the Baton Rouge community, the positive campus morale, and the support of faculty and staff.  Coming to LSU is one of the best choices I have made, and I am confident that your tiger feels the same way about their decision.  Geaux Tigers!

GEAUX Get Your Tiger Involved!

lindsey-blog-photoLindsey Powell served as the Orientation Leader for the University Center for Advising and Counseling this past summer. She is a sophomore from New Orleans, LA and is majoring in Biology for Pre-Pharmacy. She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Student Government, Pre-Pharmacy Club, and Greek Life. Her favorite spot on campus is her sorority house.

This past summer I served as an Orientation Leader here at LSU. One phrase I told to all of my students coming through was “Get Involved!” My students heard it from me, other leaders, upperclassmen friends, and all of the speakers they listened to in those two days. There are so many reasons to get involved in college; Mainly, because it helps students meet so many new people and it brings them countless opportunities.

I think the reason I harp on getting involved so much is because the organizations I’ve joined since I’ve been at LSU have impacted me to a point that I don’t know where I’d be without them or the people I’ve met while being involved in them. Take it from me, since my freshman year I have joined three major student organizations. I became an LSU Ambassador, I hold a position in student government, and I am part of a Greek organization. The coolest part about all three of these organizations is that it brought me to people and gave me friendships I probably would not have had otherwise. I’ve gained best friends, study groups, and even roommates from these organizations. Of course, your student doesn’t have to join every organization that interests them. If they attend a meeting for an organization they think they would like, even if they don’t join it in the end, they may make meaningful connections or gain useful information they never would have without attending.


Here at LSU we have over 400 student organizations. There is something here for everyone, no matter race, religion, personal interests, or talents. We have clubs for just about every major, if not all of them.  Joining that could help your student for the sole purpose of always having a study group. The people they will meet in those major-based clubs will be taking the same classes as them throughout their time at LSU. Or, like me, being a part of the Pre-Pharmacy club allows me to hear from representatives from different universities across the country about their Pharmacy programs and what they have to offer. My membership in this club is opening doors for me by giving me the opportunity to talk to representatives and figure out if one of those schools is where I would like to eventually study.

I wish every freshman tiger could read this, and even the upperclassman that haven’t found their place on campus yet. Meeting people different from yourself and surrounding yourself with people who are both similar and different from you helps you grow as a person. It helps you figure out who you are and find yourself, as well as learn about those who are different from you.

So, while you read this and hear my story, think about your tiger moving away from home and starting a whole new chapter in their life. Encourage them to get involved and to not only make those life-long friendships, but to also open those doors to new opportunities they didn’t get in high school.

An Open Letter to Nervous Parents

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Paige Picou will be serving as the University Center for Advising and Counseling POL. She is a Junior Psychology major from Houma, Louisiana. She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Psi Chi, Freshman Leadership Council, and STRIPES. Her favorite spot on campus is the Bookstore.

Entering college is a time filled with nervousness, excitement, and hopes for the future. While students are packing their things, scheduling their classes, and planning for the experience they’ll have at LSU, there are obviously a lot of emotions involved in the process. However, while most of the attention is rightfully placed on the students themselves, people often forget that this is a very emotional time for the parents as well.

I know as my parents were moving me into my residence hall before the start of my freshman year, they were also filled with excitement for me, nervousness about how well I would adjust, and worries for our future. Not only did they want me to be successful and happy, but this was also the first time in my life that we hadn’t all lived under the same roof, and I know they were going to miss me as much or more than I missed them.PAige blog 1

I can only imagine the stress that goes along with sending your child away to college, but as a student who has faced this experience with my own family, I can assure you that your child can succeed here. LSU has worked tirelessly to try to create programs that can help students academically. The Center for Academic Success provides free walk-in tutoring to students for any subject that they are struggling in. Additionally, supplemental instructors are provided for classes that are typically difficult for students. These supplemental instructors are students who have already taken this particular class and made an A in it and then retake that class to help the new students. They will hold review sessions twice a week with worksheets and a more relaxed environment where students can discuss class material with other students. In addition to the academic resources that this university offers, LSU also has over 400 organizations for students to get involved in, and all of these organizations can be found at

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Of course, there will still be times when your student will be frustrated and unsure of what to do next in a particular situation, and there will also be times when your tiger can’t wait to tell you all about the good grade on a test or the great day he or she had. While it can be upsetting to hear that your family members are having a rough day and not be able to immediately fix the situation, I think being a support system for your student is the best thing you can do for him or her. I know that when I want to vent, simply having my parents to listen to and understand what I’m feeling is a great comfort to me because it validates my feelings and makes me feel like I am not alone. They can’t fix all of my problems for me, but they are always there to listen and help me figure out how to solve my problems on my own.

I can assure you that all of the wisdom, advice, and values that you have instilled in your child have prepared him or her to make his or her own decisions here. Your child will absolutely still make mistakes, but with your guidance, your tiger can learn from these mistakes to be even better individuals in the future.


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Learning to Appreciate the Helicopter Parent

Cam photoCameron Frazier will be serving as the 2016 Head Parent Orientation Leader. He is a Senior Mechanical Engineering major from Lacassine, Louisiana. He is an LSU Ambassador and has also been involved with STRIPES, Student Government, and LSU Lacrosse. His favorite spot on campus is Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.

Four springs ago, I sat in a vehicle on my way to Louisiana State University to attend the annual Spring Invitational, an event dedicated to recruiting and orienting high achieving students across the nation. It felt like the first big step in what would be an incredible journey for me on this campus. For reference, I am the only child of two incredibly loving and caring parents. For reasons I probably don’t need to explain here, they can be a bit… hands on when it comes to big steps in my life. Attending this University, as mentioned, was definitely such a step. I’ve learned along the way that this tendency to be so active in my affairs is okay.

Back to Spring Invitational, or SPIN as it is frequently called on campus. As I began to see and experience so many wonderful things this campus has to offer, I was overcome with the urge to be free. I wanted the upcoming fall to begin immediately so I could be on my own and tackle a million and one things. However, fall wasn’t close and I was still a part of our household of three. I wish I knew how many times during those few days I thought or mumbled “Ugh Mom.” She asked questions, she worried, and she probed me every step of the way. I can’t even imagine what she must have been experiencing as the day I would leave suddenly became painfully near. Being the stubborn child I am, though, I only saw my Mom “hovering” over me and wondered when it would end. Fast-forward through several years of wonderful experiences and it turns out that it still hasn’t. But stubborn ol’ Cam learned to appreciate it, not loathe it.

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The reality is this: The transition into any University from a steady environment can be difficult for every party involved. Parents and guardians will miss their student. Students will miss home and likely never admit such a thing is occurring. Trust me when I say that there is NO reason that interactions between students and family should suffer. My parents are still as involved in my day-to-day as they were then. They still offer to shelter and protect me from two hours away. They are always calm ears I can pursue when I am in need of listening. And yes, at times they still “hover.” Your student will learn to appreciate this readiness to aid and willingness to love eventually. I encourage every family member to allow their student to come to this University and pursue their dreams; never hinder their ability to move forward. But don’t disappear either. We need you. We will always need you. We are here because of you. Allow us to fly and I promise our flight path will bring us back to you.

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Being a First Generation Student

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DaMika Woodard will be serving as the POL for the College of Art and Design. She is a Senior from DeRidder, Louisiana. She is majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy. She is involved in LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES, and Association of Pre-Physical Therapy Students. Her favorite spot on campus is Middleton Library. 

Being a first generation student is a great accomplishment that comes with a lot of pride, and a lot of pressure. I was proud to be the first person in my family to go to a four year university, but I also felt pressured to succeed. Statistically, the odds were not in my favor. It was reported that first generation students are the least likely to graduate from four year universities; I did not want that to be my story. Growing up, I watched my mom bounce from job to job to provide for my siblings and I. My mother always told me things such as: “nothing is ever going to be given to you, you have to work for it. The world is yours, you just have to go and get it!” She constantly stressed the importance of education to us and made sure that we excelled academically. Thanks to her consistency, I graduated from DeRidder High School in 2013 in the top 15 percent of my class, and didn’t stop there! In the Fall of 2013, I began my journey as an LSU Tiger, which was a bittersweet transition for my mother and I. We were excited for this new chapter of my life, but also nervous; this was not only my first taste of college, but hers as well.

My first semester was challenging; not only academically, but in my personal life as well. I had trouble networking with others and keeping my parents up to date on information and events. In addition to those problems, I did not know how to properly study, manage my time, or how to handle my own finances. While trying to juggle it all, I came to the realization that I needed extra help; I could not do this alone. Thankfully, LSU has a service called Student Support Services. At the SSS, their mission is to work directly with first generation students from their freshman orientation to their graduation.

Damika PictureThey have services that teach the students about money management,studying styles, as well as time management. They also offer weekly tutoring sessions and peer mentors, who are first generation students, too. This made things easier because I was surrounded by people who understood me and could give me the extra help that I knew I needed. There are many times that I felt overwhelmed, but my on-campus support system encouraged me to keep going. Now, I am set to graduate in December of 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. In the words of my mother, “The world is yours, you just have to go and get it.”

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Freshman Survival Guide: Changing Majors

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Chandler Wall will be serving as the POL for Music and Dramatic Arts and the College of Agriculture. He is a Junior from Dallas, Texas. He is a Human Resources and Education major with a concentration in Leadership. He is involved with LSU Ambassadors and his favorite spot on campus is Mike’s Habitat. 

Changing your major is quite common to the average college student. I personally have changed my major a total of 4 times now and almost every time I had to change my senior college. I would think that this next one would be the major I graduate with, but each time I would realize that it wasn’t for me.  After I realized that my third major change wasn’t what I hoped it would be, I decided that it was time for me to change again. Except this time was different, this time I felt lost. This time I wasn’t changing my major because I found something I felt I liked better.

Chandler BlogI didn’t know what I wanted anymore, or what the best fit for me was. I just knew that I wasn’t happy in that major anymore. It was a terrifying feeling. I had just finished my sophomore year of college, now half way through my college career and I no longer knew what I wanted to do. I went and talked to my friends about what I should do next and they all said the same thing, “Pay a visit to the Olinde Career Center.” I had heard about it in the past but had never been there myself. I didn’t realize that I walked by it almost everyday in the Student Union. I wasn’t sure if it would be able to solve all my problems, but I knew that it was definitely worth a try.

When the new school year was starting I walked in and set up an appointment with a career counselor. She sat me down and we talked for a long while until she had a grasp on my situation. From there we started from scratch, we looked at many different majors offered by each college at LSU. She could tell that our conversation wasn’t getting me any closer to figuring out what I wanted to do. She then proposed that I take on online test known as the Strong Test. This test would help to tell me what kind of work style I had, what jobs would really suit me, which jobs wouldn’t, it even told me whaChandler Blog 3t majors I would work well in. So I went and took the test and I would meet back with her once the results came in.

About a week later, I went to meet her again to look at my results. I was surprised to see my test results were a stack of papers half an inch thick. They were telling me things about myself that I never realized and options that I had never even considered. We talked until I could narrow it down to three majors. Then I went and spoke to each senior college to weigh my options. Eventually I choose to go with Human Resources and Education. Words couldn’t describe the feeling of relief I had now that I had a major and a plan again. Sometimes people realize that they actual don’t want to major in what they came to college to study and that is okay. It’s better to realize this early during your undergrad, instead of a week before graduation or even after. The LSU Olinde Career Center is there for this specific purpose and it should definitely be utilized, because it definitely can’t hurt.

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Getting Involved

Charlie POL pciCharlie Loupe will be serving as the POL for the College of Science and the School of Coast and Environment. He is a Junior from Slidell, Louisiana. He is involved in LSU Ambassadors and Beta Theta Pi. His favorite spot on campus is the Law School front steps over looking the Bell Tower and Tiger Stadium.

Getting involved on campus is very important in your student’s college career. Most parents tell their student they have to be in the library from morning until night studying so they can do the best that they possibly can. While it is great to be dedicated to your school work and make school the number one priority, your student needs something else in their life that allows them to get away from school for a second. I know that it sounds scary for your child to not think about school constantly, but I have learned that it’s healthy to get involved in college for several reasons.

Unfortunately, as your student progresses through college they will be stressed about a certain number of things. Through experience I have learned that when I am only preoccupied with one thing I tend to over think the situations I get in to, whether it’s tests, quizzes, or homework, and worry about them. In my first semester I knew no one at LSU, even though I am from Louisiana. I cried every now and then, calling my parents to tell them how scared I was. My mom always comforted me and said to go out there and meet other students so I could feel more comfortable at LSU. She was extremely persistent in making sure I went to get involved on campus. So the beginning weeks of college were rough for me until I decided to get involved.

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When I was attempting to decide which organization I should join I was lost. I searched everywhere looking for something that would suit me. I was constantly reminded of how awesome the LSU Ambassadors were and how much of a close-knit group they were; especially by my mother from her orientation experience. So, I decided to give it a shot even though I was not very fond of the idea of getting involved. I was terrified when I started the process of applying and trying out for Ambassadors. As I went through the selection process and interviews I met, what are now, the greatest friends I have ever had. After being selected to be an LSU Ambassador I was so excited because I finally found my place at LSU and could also call LSU my home away from home.

As an LSU Ambassador, whenever I served the community or those who were guests at LSU I felt so full of joy and happiness, which relieved most of my stress about schoolwork. Also, after making several friends within Ambassadors I felt more comfortable at LSU to the point where I could be more successful in my classes. This was proven true when I finished my first and second semester with a 4.0 GPA. It required me to work a little hard
than I had to, but the hard work showed me how to be dedicated to something you love.

charlie 3  Understanding that getting involved is just as important as your schoolwork is a difficult concept for some to grasp, but trust me it is extremely important. Personally, I find it imperative that students get involved in any way they can in order to be more successful at LSU. It does not have to happen your first semester if it makes you feel that uncomfortable, but a large part of college is stepping far out of your comfort zone and growing as a person. So please tell your students to not be afraid to feel uncomfortable and find their place on campus. It is the perfect formula for being successful at LSU and being able to proudly say, “I am an LSU Tiger”.

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